Misdiagnosed as a Type 2 Diabetic at 18

March is 14 years that I have been a type 1 diabetic. In that timeframe, I have struggled. I didn’t always talk about the fact I had diabetes. But I didn’t hide it. There were times I did try to ignore it, but that didn’t work out. Then the times I worked hard, it would kick my butt. Also not having any health insurance did not help.

I was misdiagnosed in 2008 at 18 years old as a type 2 diabetic. I experienced extreme thirst, weight loss, urination, and fatigue. This went on for a few months. When I finally went to the urgent care, they asked me questions and did a finger poke to test my blood sugar. Only at that moment, I didn’t connect the dots. My blood sugar was in the 600’s.

I remember the nurse making the comment “Oh. That’s why you feel so sick.” and leaving the room. But no one said anything to me like “ Hey your blood sugar is high, looks like diabetes.” Again I was so very tired and not with it. They hooked me up with what I’m guessing, was an IV of fluids. Shortly after the dr came in and started talking about diet, lifestyle changes, medication, and testing my blood sugar as a type 2 . After that I got moved to a new room.

The next day the dietitian come up to my room and went over diet and carbs. I was told to keep meals under 60 carbs and a list of free foods that I know now, are not free. I spent a few more days in the hospital and was then sent on my way.

At the time I was working for Americorps NCCC, which is a ten-month commitment doing volunteer work across the U.S, where they fed, pay, and housed you. During that time they offered health insurance, but once it was time to go back home to WI I didn’t have any kind of health insurance anymore.

Sometime in 2009, I ended back in the hospital and DKA again. The first time was the year before when I was first diagnosed but we didn’t know it at the time. Diabetic ketoacidosis is when the body starts breaking down fat at a rate that is much too fast. The liver processes the fat into a fuel called ketones, which causes the blood to become acidic. My body was shutting down and was slowly dying.

Almost immediately after I was admitted they told me there was no way I was a type 2 and I was a type 1 diabetic and the first hospital misdiagnosed me. They gave me a slightly better education on diabetes but still gave me the same “free food “ list and to keep meals around 60 carbs and snacks at 15 carbs. They even helped me find a low-income clinic so I could get the insulin that I need to stay alive.

Sometimes the dr would be helpful but I did get a few that were just no help. There were times when my A1c, which is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar over the past 3 months, would be on the higher side and I would get a “lecture” on better blood sugar management but no actual help. Even when I was trying my hardest. Or I was simply burnt out and was not trying as hard. It was very frustrating at times.

I went to this clinic for about 10 years until I got married and my husband had a job that offered health insurance in 2018. During the 10 years that I went to a low-income clinic every month. They gave me everything I needed. Long and short-acting insulin pens, test strips, pen tips, and more. As great as the clinic was, there were too many hands. Paperwork would be missing and sometimes the commutation was not the best. I would also have a different dr every month.

But they did try their best. Every year they would help me apply for state insurance and every time single time I would be denied. But I had no problem getting forward health benefits for family planning, basically, I only qualified for birth control and nothing else.

Then in 2018, my husband qualified for the health insurance offered through his job. I was finally able to establish a primary dr, an endocrinologist, who specializes in the endocrine system and diabetes, and a diabetes educator/nutritionist. I now have a great team to help me manage my diabetes better.

In 2021 I finally moved from insulin pens and finger pokes to an insulin pump and cgm (continuous glucose monitor) which has been a game-changer for me. I did start on the Omnipod dash and Dexcom in March and April but after about 8 months I switched over to the Medtronic 770g System. The Medtronic’s 770g is a closed loop[ system where the guardian sensors talk to the insulin pump and make adjustments as needed. This time last year in march of 2021 my A1c was a 9.8 and right now it is a 6.6.

Since seeing my diabetes educator/nutritionist I have had updated education on diabetes. For example, coffee is NOT a free food. Caffeine can induce an adrenaline rush and can impact the blood sugar and make it rise. Or that fat and protein can also impact blood sugar. Those were a few things I didn’t know but only found out when I started using a CGM.

A lot has happened in the last 14 years for me and I have learned so much. Diabetes is a 24/7 job that you do not get to take a vacation from or get paid. At times it can be a lot and burnout is real. I hope you found this interesting or even helpful.

5 must have iPad accessories

Here is a list of my favorite iPad accessories that I use daily and that I find to be worth mentioning.

2021 iPad 9th gen 256Gb– I recently upgraded to an iPad with more storage. I was using a 2016 iPad pro with 32GB. But even with paying for cloud storage, I didn’t have enough room for all of my artwork and apps. I’m glad I upgraded but I slightly wished I would have gone with the iPad Pro 11 inch screen. The 10.2-inch screen is an upgrade from 9.7inchs but it would be nice sometimes to have that little bit more when drawing. At the time my main concern was storage and price. Overall, I’m very pleased.

Zagg pro keyboard caseThis is a great keyboard and case combo with an apple pencil holder. This case comes in two parts. The first part is a shell case that covers the back of your tablet. The second part of the case is the magnetic keyboard cover that protects the screen and can detach from the iPad if you are just wanting to use the shell case.

Paper-like screen protector– I have used many matte screen protectors in the past but nothing like Paper-like. It is textured like paper but at the same time smooth. It does not distort the screen like some that I have used in the past. I also noticed that I don’t hear that s scratchy noise if I’m scrolling through on my iPad.

Apple Pencil 1 gen– Yes I’m still using my first-generation Apple pencil with the 2021 9th gen iPad. I love using my apple pencil for drawing and in my digital planner. It is a must if you use Art apps like procreate or note-taking apps like good notes.

Silicone apple pencil cover– Thin and comfy enough for drawing or note-taking. It also comes in a variety of colors to choose from. I can also fit in the pencil holder of the Zagg pro case.

iPad sitting on a desk with a keyboard and AirPods .

Diabetes Tech Review: Omnipod Dash Insulin Pump

For 8 month or so I had been using the insulin pump, Omnipod Dash with Dexcom to manage my Type 1 Diabetes. I thought it was time to review this diabetes device. I have been a diabetic for 13 years soon to be 14 in March/April. Before going on a insulin pump I was using insulin pens for the longest time. That is another story its self.

 

What is Omnipod?

Omnipod Dash is a tubeless wearable insulin pump that send a consistent amount of basel (background) insulin for up to 3 days. The  PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager) is a dumb down android phone that only runs the software by Omnipod. The PDM then connects to the insulin pump pods by bluetooth. The pods are water proof, so that means no disconnecting for a shower or jumping in the pool. The PDM is NOT water proof. Also the Omnipod Dash does not commutate with a CGM, like Dexcom.  

The Process

For me it was super simple. I had gone to a endocrinologist app and talked to my Dr about going on a pump and talked about some of the different options. I was given a list of  insulin pumps and was told to research each one myself. I could ether tell him which one I was interested in, so he could start the paperwork. Or to go on the pumps website and fill out the contact forms and start the process that way.

By the end of the week I had filled out forms online for omnipod and was contacted within 3-4 days. I filled out eberything on a Friday and was contacted by Monday to go over questions, like for insurance and what not. By that Friday I was inform what the cost would be with my insurance. I gave them the go ahead and within a week my order was shipped. It was really quick and a easy process overall.

Shortly after I received my pump supplies I was then contacted my a Omnipod Rep/Trainer to setup training to setup my new pump. The pump trainer sat with me and set up the PDM with settings tailored to my insulin needs. Since then I have changed almost everything she had set, there was a lot of trial and error to find out what works better for me on the pump. Normally the dr sets you on the  lower side  on the pump when you start, to avoid low blood sauger.  My appointment took about a hour since I read everything before hand in the handbook.  

Things I liked

No tubing, I honestly would forget I had it on me, unless I placed it on my outer upper arm and hit every doorway. I loved that I could decorate the pods with different stickers. Very easy to use, basically fill the pod, confirm everything on the PDM and stick it on and go.
You can go swimming or shower without having to worry about disconnecting and remembering to reconnect. Your pods info shows on your phone as along as it nearby.
I never had a problem keeping the PDM with me, it was no different then carrying my phone with me. I hardly had a failed pod.

Things I did not liked

At times the design of the pods could be a little bulky. You only get one cannula length. Both Fat and protein hit me very hard, if I have a meal that’s high in both and end up with high blood sauger. The Omnipod Dash just couldn’t keep up with me and I would consistency be chasing high blood saugers.  

Final thoughts

 Its a great pump that’s for sure. I did exactly what it was programed to do, that is to delver  a constant supply of basel background of insulin 24/7. But since it does not talk to Dexcom it just doesn’t work for me. Now that the Omnipod 5 has been FDA approved and works with Dexcom it might work better for me.  But I have moved to a different system in November and LOVING it.  I will write more about that in another post. 
Omnipod Dash Insulin Pump

8 Summer Favorites

 

 
Well summer has been officially over now, which is hard to believe. We are now entering cooler weather and in to fall. Over the summer I found some new hobbies and interests that I never thought I would have or try.
 
Pomifrea I fell in love earlier this year with Pomifera. The healing body oil is amazing and does so much for dry skin. I use it after every time I shower and after every Dexcom (Continuous Glucose Monitor) and Omnipod/insulin pump change. Since the Dexcom stays attached to me for a full 10 days reading my blood sugar and the insulin pump is only 3 days.
 
Biker shorts Super comfy with pockets on both legs! I wore these a lot this summer and was prefect to carry both my phone and insulin pump. Fits true to size. 
 
Rebel Gypsy Wigs I started wearing wigs this February. I am attempting to grow out my pixie again and find that this is  helping with the temptation of cutting it. As of right now I have 34 wigs from The Rebel Gypsy and I love every single one. They have amazing customer service and great quality products. Not only does she have wigs but wig products, clothing, shoes, makeup and  so much more. She also goes live twice a week on Facebook and gives away a ton of prizes! 
 
Twitch Yearly this year I started streaming Animal Crossing for fun and enjoy it. I started streaming more in the summer, I do dream tours or decorate my island. I also stream other games too, like The Sims 4 and others. I don’t have a set schedule yet but I will soon. Sometimes I will do dream tours on animal crossing with my niece while twitch. We have so much fun!
 
Dupe LV Checkered Bag Who doesn’t love a nice big bag to throw everything in? Well made and pretty good for a dupe to the real thing without the price tag. 
 
Omnipod & Dexcom Both have been a game changer better control of my blood sugar. I absolutely love the Dexcom and being able to see what my blood sugar is and where its going all on my phone. Love it! Omnipod is a great tool for better management. It does a great job helping me with that but there is a learning curve. I can not wait for Omnipod 5 comes out next year. It will be even better with the ability to micro manage in the background and talk to the Dexcom. It will be able to help fix high blood sugar’s and help prevent low blood sugar on its own. Instead of me doing all the micro managing, or trying to. 
 
4 Pieces Basic Crop Tank Tops This was a another staple this summer for clothing for me. They have many colors to pick from and loved how they fit. Fit’s true to size. 
 
8 Summer favorites

 

 
8 Summer Favorites

Level 13 as a Type 1 Diabetic

It’s not something I would always touch on much, but I’m a Type 1 Diabetic for the last 13 years. I  found out at 18  in March of 2008. I have struggled so much since then and it has taken me until now to make peace with it. In those years I didn’t always have the best control but I would do the very basics,  carb count-not always accurately, took insulin-not always on time, checked my blood sugar-only to eat and just winged it lot of times.  It was a mess. My A1C was always high, were talking 8-9 when we should be under 7-6. Right now it’s a 9.4. Yikes.

At my last endocrinologist appointment in march my Endo ask me if I was interested in an insulin pump or CGM and we please get you on a pump and cgm.   I told him yes I was interested. The only reason why I never did was because up until the last 3 years, I never had insurance. That is a whole other story. I was afraid to look into an insulin pump or cgm and be denied or have a crazy upfront cost. Because they are expensive.  My Endo gave me a list of insulin pumps and CGM’s (continuous glucose monitor)  to research and to tell him what I wanted so he could start the paperwork. Two weeks later on St. Patricks Day I had the Dexcom G6 CGM to monitor my blood sugar 24/7. The insulin pump, I pick the OmniPod, took about a month later to start.
I wish I had started so much sooner than later. But I wasn’t ready and it took me a long time to realize that there is a difference with accepting and embracing it. I am seeing much better numbers during the night and day. I still have some areas that I have to adjust but my nights are looking great and consistent. Days are a little trickier but we are slowly getting there. Instead of running in the 200-300’s all the time, I’m more like 160-180 which makes a huge difference.